A Day of Honor and Resentment



Memorial Day is a national holiday of picnics and parades. It is also a deeply personal day in remembrance of the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

I am honored and humbled that those who serve feel their country and fellow Americans are worthy of their sacrifices.  Yet wars are not benign affairs.

So I find myself conflicted…

Honoring those who serve,
   Resenting the wars they serve in.
Honoring the courage and bravery,
   Resenting the death and destruction.
Honoring the pain and sacrifices,
   Resenting the war profiteers.
Honoring the ideals wars protect,
   Resenting the war machinery.
Honoring our country's strength,
   Resenting our war history.
Honoring the war dead,
   Resenting the war mongers.
Honoring the surviving loved ones,
   Resenting my own helplessness.

2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport in 2005.

Second Lt. James Cathey’s body arrived at the Reno Airport in 2005.  (Photo credit: Todd Heisler/The Rocky Mountain News, via Associated Press.)

Final Salute — The Pulitzer prize winning story behind the Lt. Cathey photo.

Chart of American War Deaths Through History: From Independence Day to Iraqi Freedom.



We value comments that are respectfully presented.